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  • Writer's pictureG Michael Moore

Ode to Mom

Jeanne Summers Moore

I would like to have this forum include all forms of intimate relationships. In that spirit here is a poem I wrote after burying my mother's ashes in the family plot, next to her mother and grandparents.

Buried my mother the other day

Dug a grave in the heavy red clay

of Northern Alabama

She was so beautiful, our Jeanne Summers

Generous and kind

Brilliant and fun

And wounded in ways I never understood

I judged her

For not healing herself

She judged me

For disrespecting her ways

Both of us doing what we needed to do

To survive

Which tempers the sorrow and regret


Weirdly disorienting missing you dead

So used to missing you unavailable

Quite different missing you

Now that

You are unavailable to be unavailable

I remember your tenderness

Your laugh

And all the ways you called my name

The digging was difficult

Incrementally pushing

Through the slippery sticky red

Once again covered in vernix

The soil of our ancestors

I owe you this womb

A final service

I laughed with joy

Grateful for one more chance

To be a good son

A loving son

Your son


—M Moore (2017)

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